SAP takes business analytics to the cloud

Business intelligence and business analytics are probably among the most ponderous, compute-heavy tranches of enterprise data. But even these lumbering behemoths can show an agile turn or two when taken into the cloud environment. At least, that’s what one rather well known enterprise computing concern is betting on.

SAP has announced that new and existing customers can deploy analytics solutions in its SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, a cloud-based service that supports the company’s business analytics engine. The announcement means that new and existing customers can access SAP Hana more quickly via subscription or through existing licenses, the company says.

SAP says that the analytics solutions in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud include enterprise business intelligence, data visualization and advanced predictive analytics. In addition, enterprise performance management (EPM) delivers financial planning and “an accelerated financial close to disclose.” Hana Enterprise Cloud also reduces the cost and effort of managing risk and compliance initiatives while protecting revenue streams and optimizing performance, SAP says.

SAP is also providing options for customers to deploy analytics solutions from SAP in the cloud alongside other cloud-based applications from SAP, including those from SAP companies Ariba and SuccessFactors and third-party cloud applications. SAP believes that this open approach will support an extended collective insight across the spectrum of mission-critical business applications, either in the cloud or on premise.

“The ability to understand data and to have analytical insight is paramount for businesses,” said Christian Rodatus, senior vice president and general manager, Analytics for SAP. “SAP is committed to providing our customers the greatest choice of deployment and simplicity to run our best-in-class analytics solutions without sacrificing functionality, agility or support.

“By announcing the availability of our analytics solutions in SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, we are building on our market leadership and enabling our customers to deploy our portfolio of analytics solutions with more flexibility, choice and the control needed to drive innovation and agility into their businesses.”

To back up its announcement, and its decision to take BI into the cloud, SAP referenced a press release from Gartner in which Gartner’s research director Dan Sommer said BI adoption is at an inflection point. “As the market shifts gear, we see a series of tipping points in 2014 that will accelerate [BI] adoption, but it may come from a different place,” Sommer said.

“These tipping points are that half of BI and analytics spend will be business driven, half of new license spend will be driven by data discovery requirements, and half of organizations will consider deploying BI in the cloud, at least tactically.”

In a 2013 report on business intelligence and analytics software market share, Gartner ranked SAP as the leader. The report showed SAP as raking in US$3.1 billion in revenue and holding 21.3 per cent of the worldwide BI and analytics software market.

In addition to the new cloud-based delivery of business analytics, SAP (Nasdaq: SAP) currently offers strategic advisory services for customers investing in cloud-based analytics.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Andrew Brooks
Andrew Brooks
Andrew Brooks is managing editor of IT World Canada. He has been a technology journalist and editor for 20 years, including stints at Technology in Government, Computing Canada and other publications.

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